Friday, December 30, 2005

nice hawking surprise

I had it all timed to go hawking the one good day before the storm was supposed to hit. The first field I tried had a man repairing fences, so I figured it was better to go someplace else than face the dreaded "no you can't hawk here." He was mellow the last time I spoke with him, but I didn't want to push my luck. We went to a field a few miles down the road.

The parking spot had shrunk considerably, but the field was good! S&P had half a dozen good slips in 45 minutes. Finer yet, we flushed 2 rooster and 3 hen pheasants -- always a nice find, and something I'll come prepared for next time. (This is a 12-foot T-perch, which gives the birds a height advantage needed both for pheasant in general, and to compensate for the lack of high perches in that field.) There were mallards, too, but I don't have a stamp for them and they flushed very quickly anyway.

Then both birds landed on a 3-foot embankment, surprisingly close together. I was going the other way, but they didn't follow. Something was up. I walked back toward them, and when I was 40 feet away, both birds flap-hopped down the embankment and struck a rabbit that had been freezing directly below them. Apparently my approach had been too much for the thing, and it had twitched enough to trigger the birds into grabbing. I just had to laugh -- it was the most unspectacular catch I'd ever seen. But still a catch, and the birds were rewarded accordingly.

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